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In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

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Journeyman

In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

Hi all,

I'm in the market for my first smart phone. 

Short history (won't be offended if you skip it): The reason I originally got my current LG Rumor 2, was its calendar features were the most flexible NON-Smart Phone in Sprint's arsenal.  Since the phone was 6-months in use, I’ve had nothing but problems with (guess what…) its calendar! (of course!)   It's been factory reset twice, and Sprint just last month swapped it off for a replacement same model.  Started with the same problems and more... the day after activation!  The rep at the Sprint Store was able to observe the problems. I put identical entries into wife's Rumor 2, there were no problems on hers.  Had the phone over a year and yes, I know how to operate it. 

Cutting the "story" short, I'm looking at the EVO Shift, Epic and Optimus S.  Could a few of you please weigh in on the EVO Shift, on the items listed below.  Any experience with the other two is appreciated as well.

I've gone through the users manuals and for the most part, didn't get clear answers.

Android 2.1 vs 2.2?  Is it a deal breaker?  Can the Epic be upgraded to 2.2 for free?

My deal breakers so far are [stock, widget or app... doesn't matter to me as long as it works reliably,] (but please specify which you are talking about):

*     For those with prior experience, how much of a pain is it to get used to an on-screen qwerty? Does Swype help?

Can/Does the EVO Shift:

*     set up a contact group, and set a ringer of my choice to all members at once, not one-at-a-time?

*     assign ringer of my choice to individual contacts?

*     assign ringer of my choice to individual CALENDAR reminders, events, appointments, or alarms, whatever they're called?

*     assign vibrate pattern of my choice to individual contacts?

*     assign vibrate pattern of my choice to individual CALENDAR reminders, events, appointments, or alarms, whatever they're called?

*     have flexible advance reminders of Calendar entries (5min, 10min, 1h, 2h, 1 day, 2 day bare minimum) with multiple-use snooze?

*     have flexible recurring Calendar entries (None, Daily, M-F, Select Days, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly, Every # days, weeks or months)?

*     how involved is synchronizing Outlook (no exchange) and/or Google Calendar to the Handset? 

*     Is there ANY way to get color coding of entries in Google Calendar, and by extension, the calendar I download/sync to the handset?

I'm looking forward to hearing about your collective experience.

Many thanks in advance,


SJM

16 REPLIES 16
Journeyman

Re: In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

All or most of this post belongs in a general Android forum of some form, but here's a quick response:

  • Yes Android 2.2 is substantially better than 2.1. Most importantly it's about twice as fast, or put another way, uses a lot less battery.
  • The Epic is a bad choice. Discussed here: http://community.sprint.com/baw/message/256257
  • Basically everything else you're asking for is either part of Android or available as an app you download in the Market. None of these features is specific to the Shift, so it's not really relevant to this forum. You'll probably get better results searching the general Android section of this forum, and the many other Android forums out there on the web like AndroidCentral and PhAndroid. If it's critical every feature you list be there, you will likely be doing a fair bit of searching for apps, since they're fairly specific requests and Android app hunting can be a bit of research.

I personally have a number of different ringtone customizations on my phone, some built-in (ring per person), some not (various apps). Also, Google Calendar color-coding is built-in. Every Calendar you create has a color associated with it, and that color is properly drawn on the phone.

Journeyman

In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

Thank you for your reply.   As stated above, I'm brand new to this whole smart-phone thing.  My questions came from a dumb-phone place... which is where I've lived since 1993, and where the questions would have been totally relevant as posted. 

Thank you also for the references on the Epic.  Do you base your diss of the Epic on personal experience, or solely on the psotings you referenced?  If personal experience, what exactly were your specific issues with it?  Luckily I'm not using the GPS, nor will I be doing more than casual downloads.  Don't care about 3G, 4G. 

As stated above, my criteria revolve around audible and tactile reminders & notification, as well as grouping contacts and advanced functionality in the calendar. There are currently no Sprint dumb-phones that can handle all that like the Rumor 2 did.   I am very happy with Sprint CS and currently get corporate rate % off monthly recurring fees, which makes Sprint my least expensive option, so I have no motivation to move on just for a handset.  Thankfully that cuts down my comparisons.

If as you say, this is all available in Apps or Widgets, I' m not afraid of some in--depth research, rooting and trial & error.  May actually be able to get a friend to create an app with these features.  At that point, all three phones are substantially equal to me.  It will boil down to the obvious features HW vs SW keyboard, tightness of sliding keyboard, other ergonomics, battery size & life, etc.

Put in the context of this forum, if all my original criteria are likely met within the Android OS &/or Marketplace, the SHIFT has no higher or lower rating for me than the Epic and Optimus S.

Thank you again

SJM

Wizard

In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

Assigning various ringers and vibrate patterns is limited but can be done with the appropriate app. on any of the Android phones. I personally do not like the Optimus because it is much slower than the EVO but that is personal preference and if speed is not an issue with you then the difference may not be great enough to matter. I personally use the HTC Evo. The Shift is not too much different other than the slide out keyboard. I have no experience with the Epic to give a fair opinion there. As for syncing to Outlook or Google, with the EVO you sync simply by signing into your Gmail account and it is relatively fast. Not sure about outlook because I do not use it. The Google calendar features are exactly the same on my Evo as they are from a desktop. As far as I am aware you can color code the google calendar, especially between other contacts synced to your calendar if any. I am personally partial to the Evo but if you want a slide out keyboard the Shift is not a bad phone at all. Hope I was able to help some at least!

Journeyman

In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

Thanks for sharing your experience.  It is helpful to hear from actual users.  Did you go from a hard keyboard to the EVO?  How was the transition for you?

Wizard

In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

The Palm Pre had a hard keyboard and going to the touch screen was a breeze! The keys on the touch screen are big enough to avoid hitting wrong keys most of the time...and I have big hands LOL! With the swype feature it is even easier but you do have to watch that the correct words are used this way. I went through the Swype tutorial and it has been a lot easier since. The tutorial will show you how to delete words from the Swype dictionary, add words to the dictionary, and how to change words if for whatever reason it selects the wrong word. If you just keep typing Swype will automatically select the first word in the choice list so if you are pretty accurate you will not have many problems. I thoroughly love my Evo and the fact that everything is touch screen seems to make it smoother and much easier to keep clean!

Anything else I can assist with?

Journeyman

In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

Thanks again for your time 🙂

Wizard

In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

Happy to help anytime I can!

Journeyman

In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

Sorry if my post about searching Android forums came off a bit rude. Just trying to encourage you to look in the best place for that sort of answer.

I encourage you to look into apps that provide the kinds of reminders you're trying to setup before buying the phone so that you aren't disappointed. Many Sprint stores will also let you play with an Evo Shift 4G basically for as long as you like, so you could try setting up all the reminders you speak of on a phone in the store to explore what's possible and verify it all works the way you like. They can easily reset the device (and I assume they frequently do) to wipe out any strange settings you might end up with, so don't fret about that too much.

I'm pretty sure everything you described is actually built-in to the phone except the Vibration patterns, which are a new idea to me. There MIGHT be an app that does that, but I'm not personally aware of one. Research!

I love my Evo Shift 4G. My personal experience with Samsung's Android phones on Sprint was a rough year with the Samsung Moment. Between Samsung and Sprint, someone seriously dropped the ball. Important hardware was not working, the phone would freeze and crash, and updates were delayed for months or cancelled entirely. If you look at the forums for the Epic you see the exact same pattern - updates delayed, patches not released, hardware failing, no one's doing anything about it. I don't know who exactly is at fault, but the HTC/Sprint combination has been much less problematic, and so far I'm very pleased.

Wizard

In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

As am I with my Evo...I agree although I do not have experience with other Android phones other than the research I did before purchasing the EVO. I am trying to get familiar with the various apps and it does seem they have one for everything lol. Thanks for the insight SOOPAHMAN!

Journeyman

In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

No worries, SOOPAHMAN.  My response could have used less attitude I'm sure.  Such is life, communicating without facial expressions to clue you in.  Message received, I will check out less specialized branches of the forum.  I've played with all three handsets a bit now.  Short of downloading apps to the demo phone, I wasn't able to really test it fully.  Now that I'm known at a few stores I'll go back and try to do just that... after researching and nailing it to my top two or three.

Yeah, vibration patterns are actually native to the Rumor 2 believe it or not.

I do have two contacts with the Epic, and their handsets are right as rain.  Haven't had a lick of problems.  I will, of course, give the online discussions due consideration.

I'm glad you and DanaMillan have found satisfaction with the HTC selections.  Soon enough, I'll be able to say I've got the right one for me as well.

Thanks so much for the assist and nudge in the right direction.

Journeyman

In the market: EVO Shift, Epic or Optimus S?

Well if I were you I would go with the Thunderbolt if it isnt too late. I have had nothing but issues with sprint and the extra 10 dollars they force you to pay (wheather you use the service or not) has been a headache all by itself. Plus the phones are all acting crappy... Just look through the forum. So If you werent already suckered in I would say find and get the HTC Thunderbolt. Its like they took all the crap we have had to deal with and made a better phone.    

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